14 common cover letter phrases and what you can use instead

14 common cover letter phrases and what you can use instead

When you’re working on a cover letter, it’s very difficult to keep your writing fresh throughout the whole document.

It’s all too easy to repeat the same word twice across multiple paragraphs without even realizing you’ve done so. And unfortunately, this can be the sort of thing that hiring managers will mark against you — especially in positions that require a strong written ability.

So, we’ve put together this helpful list of words that might appear in your cover letter along with some synonyms to use instead. Let’s transform you from a strong people manager with a strong background in building strong teams into a more well-rounded candidate, eh?

1. Eager

In most situations, there’s likely to be a more suitable way to say ‘eager’. Here are some options for you:

  • “I’m eager to hear from you” —> “I look forward to exploring my fit for this role with you”
  • “I’m eager to join a company like yours” —> “Joining a company I respect is important to me”
  • “I’m a marketing graduate eager to find my first role” —> “I’m a marketing graduate looking to grow as a professional”

2. Excited

On its own there’s nothing wrong with the word ‘excited’, but you shouldn’t be saying it 17 times throughout your document. If that happens, here are some synonyms you can use instead:

  • “I’m excited to apply to you” —> “I had to apply as soon as I could”
  • “I’m excited to progress my career with you” —> “This would be the next natural step in my career”
  • “I’m excited about expanding my skills in the role” —> “This role is an ideal place for me to expand my skills”

3. Experience

It’s very easy to say ‘experience’ too frequently in your cover letter, so try these alternatives to keep things varied:

  • “My experience with cloud systems makes me” —> “My expertise in cloud systems makes me”
  • “I’m looking to build more experience in marketing” —> “This position would help me become a more complete marketer”
  • “I’m experienced with leading teams and setting goals” —> “Working as a team leader at [company name] has made me comfortable managing direct reports and setting goals”
  • “I’m a great fit for this role because of my experience in sales” —> “My background as a senior salesperson makes me a natural fit for this role”

4. I am confident

The issue with “I am confident” isn’t that it’s likely to get overused — it’s just not necessary in most cases. Here, we’ll show you:

  • “I am confident I have the background needed to succeed in your sales team” —> “I have the background needed to succeed in your sales team”
  • “I am confident that my customer service experience will prove vital in the role” —> “My customer service experience will prove vital in the role”

5. I believe

‘I believe’ is the same as ‘I am confident’; you don’t usually need it:

  • “I believe I have the background needed to succeed in your sales team” —> “I have the background needed to succeed in your sales team”
  • “I believe that my customer service experience will prove vital in the role” —> “My customer service experience will prove vital in the role”

6. I have experience

It’s perfectly fine to start a sentence with ‘I have experience’, just don’t use it in every single one. Use these alternatives instead to avoid sounding like a broken record:

  • “I have experience in social media and paid ads” —> “I’m well-versed in social media and paid ads”
  • “I have experience in startup companies” —> “I’ve come to thrive in a startup environment”
  • “As requested in the job description, I have 2 years of experience in hospitality” —> “I’m a qualified hospitality professional with 2 years of relevant experience”
  • “I have experience in similar positions to what you’re hiring for” —> “I’ve previously worked as a [job title] so would pick up the responsibilities quickly”

7. Interest

You might be looking for synonyms of ‘interest’ for a couple of reasons. Either you’re using it too often, or it’s sounding overly formal. We can help with both:

  • “I’m writing to express my interest in this position” —> “I’d like to apply to your [job title] position”
  • “I’m interested in reading and spending time in nature” —> “I enjoy reading and spending time in nature”
  • “My interests include reading and spending time in nature” —> “Outside of work you’ll find me reading or spending time in nature”

8. Love

According to your cover letter, you love the company you’re applying to, the job itself, and the opportunity to learn. But just how many **things can you love in a job application? Keep your writing fresh with these substitutes:

  • “I love what your company does to support its employees” —> “I respect how your company supports its employees”
  • “I love to work in a team” —> “I work best when collaborating with others”
  • “I love working in a small company because I can see the results of my work” —> “Seeing the results of my work inspires me to keep improving”

9. Opportunity

How can you apply to a job opportunity without constantly saying ‘opportunity’? With these synonyms, of course:

  • “I would excel in this opportunity” —> “I would excel in this position”
  • “I had to apply to this opportunity” —> “I had to apply to this vacancy”
  • “Thank you for the opportunity to join you” —> “Thank you for your consideration”

10. Passion

People can get a bit too passionate with their use of this word — not to mention it’s a weaker choice than some of the alternatives. Shake it up with these contenders:

  • “I’m a passionate marketer who’s ready for a new challenge” —> “I’m a dedicated marketer who’s ready for a new challenge”
  • “I have a passion for helping others through my work” —> “Helping others through my work energizes me”
  • “I have a passion for deploying quality-of-life improvements” —> “I find deploying quality-of-life improvements to be immensely satisfying”

11. Skills

If you’re skilled in everything, doesn’t that dilute the word’s meaning? Here are some other ways to talk about your skills:

  • “I have skills in paid marketing and social media” —> “Paid marketing and social media are my top strengths”
  • “I’m skilled in Photoshop” —> “I’m an expert in Photoshop”
  • “I’m a skilled people manager” —> “I’m a capable people manager”

12. Strong

The same goes for ‘strong’. If everything is a strength of yours, then the hiring manager is going to question how much weight that word holds with you:

  • “I’m a strong marketer” —> “I’m an exceptional marketer”
  • “I have strong knowledge of Premiere and other video editing software” —> “I have in-depth knowledge of Premiere and other video editing software”
  • “I would be a strong addition to your team” —> “I would be an immediately-contributing member of your team”

13. To whom it may concern

Unless you’re applying in an exceptionally formal industry, then it’s time to ditch ‘To whom it may concern’. If you know the name of the hiring manager, then address your cover letter to them directly. If you don’t know their name, there are still plenty of alternatives:

  • Dear hiring manager
  • Hello
  • Hi there

14. Yours sincerely

Here’s another cover letter phrase that’s outdated. Unless you’re applying in a formal industry, then end your cover letter with a more modern sign off, like:

  • All the best
  • Best wishes
  • Kind regards

If you’ve found the synonym you were looking for but still need help with your cover letter, we have some other resources to guide you:

💡 Full cover letter guide

🎓 Writing a cover letter for an internship

All that’s left to say is the very best of luck with your application! We’re all rooting for you here.

Hitmarker 🧡